This year Diwali also known as Deepavali will be celebrated on 27th October.
One of the most significant festivals in Indian culture, Diwali, the festival of lights, sees tons of people attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world.
The festival is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains for a variety of reasons, although the main theme which runs throughout is the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
To celebrate, houses are decorated with candles and colourful lights and huge firework displays are held while families feast and share gifts.
One of the most common stories told is the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom in Northern India from exile after defeating the demon king Ravanna in 15th century BC.
The festival is marked by large firework displays to remember the celebrations which, according to the legend, took place upon Lord Rama’s return as locals set off their own version of fireworks. Those celebrating the festival also light traditional earthen diyas (candles) and decorate their houses with colourful rangoli artworks – patterns created on the floor using coloured rice or powder.
During Diwali, families, and friends share sweets and gifts and there is also a strong belief in giving food and goods to those in need as this brings good omen to givers.
It is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn at the time of the festival. Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness. During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. Each religion has its own special way of celebrating the festival.